We regularly access computers in order to help with all manner of our daily activities. Indeed, many of us have come to depend on them, storing important files and documents for work and leisure. Imagine a scenario where you find that you can no longer use your computer, or imagine you are coming up to an important deadline and find that you are denied access to that important document you were working on. Suppose that a solution is offered to restore access, but for a fee. Would you pay? Should you pay?
Ransomware is a problem that has been with us for several years, but this year Symantec has seen a substantial growth in the sheer number and variety of this particular type of malware. This recent explosion in ransomware is most likely the result of existing cyber-criminal gangs realizing the revenue-generating power of the ransomware business model. The premise is simple and straightforward, take away something important to a user and demand cash for its return.
To help better inform the public about this type of threat, we have created a short video explaining how these threats work along with some basic advice on how to avoid them.
And remember, if affected, DO NOT PAY THE RANSOM.
Symantec provides a set of removal instructions that can help to remove these threats. We have also published a whitepaper that describes, in more detail, the recent developments in the ransomware threat.